Amos Decker and Alex Jamison are on vacation, enforced for Amos who tags along with Alex as he has nowhere else to go. She’s visiting her sister in Baronville, Pennsylvania to celebrate her niece’s upcoming 6th birthday. On the first night, Decker stumbles upon a double murder next door in the middle of a storm. Instead of low-key downtime, Decker and Jamison are drawn into the investigation to assist local law enforcement because this is no typical case.
The story tackles a contemporary issue, the raging opioid crisis which seems to have impacted this small, dreary industrial town that is trying to emerge from economic downfall. The case morphs into something bigger when it appears to connect with another group of murders that happened earlier. It’s a large cast of suspects and some of it is easy to connect but the underlying motive is more elusive. What distinguishes this story is Decker’s apparent self identity crisis brought on by events associated with his involvement that even had me a bit concerned. He’s also challenged to deal with emotionally charged situations, especially those involving Jamison’s niece, Zoe. Their relationship was truly special, giving us insight into what lies within this complicated man.
I really liked this story, particularly Decker’s inner turmoil. I’m excited to see this character evolve, even if it’s only small steps. The case was compelling and often exciting, especially the climax. The narration duet has finally found its rhythm and it added drama and reality to my reading experience. I love this series and can’t get enough of this unusual character.
(I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)